A week before schools reopened for learners, two schools had already undergone vandalism and theft and brand new security equipment was being used.
According to the Council of Education Ministers, two schools were broken into at KwaZulu-Natal last weekend and security equipment was stolen. Two suspected robbers in Soweto in Gauteng were also allegedly killed by community members when they tried to break into a school to steal security equipment that had just been delivered. The Department of Basic Education is currently in the process of distributing this equipment to schools in preparation for the reopening of schools on June 1.
Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called on members of the community not to take it into their own hands.
“Communities must protect schools from vandalism, but at the same time ensure that violence is averted. We request that the community rather cooperate with the police to arrest suspected offenders, ”says Motshekga.
The council of provincial education ministers convened a meeting on Monday on the progress made in preparing for the reopening of schools and expressed their displeasure over the cases of crime involved.
The council decided last week that school management teams and teachers will return to schools on Monday to prepare for when gr. 7- and gr. 12 learners return on June 1st.
Motshekga said that this week will be devoted to clearing and finalizing all outstanding issues before learners return.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa said in a speech on Sunday evening that the country will move to level 3 of seclusion on June 1.
He said in his speech that he noted that parents were worried about the safety of their children when returning to schools. He added that there would be no consequences if parents decided not to send their children back to school.
“Parents will not be forced to send their children back to school,” Ramaphosa said.